Some people in recovery circles advise avoiding dating in the first year of sobriety. Since many people new to sobriety find themselves to be still impulsive, dating can often lead to complications: either they are disappointed when they can’t find the intimacy they crave, or they find themselves getting too serious too soon, which usually leads to an even bigger letdown. Navigating the world of dating in early recovery is daunting for many addicts/alcoholics because we lack the social skills necessary for success in dating as a result of our addictions.
If the recovering alcoholic can’t keep these things in perspective and learn to accept and process the feelings they experience, a return to drinking or using drugs is often the result. However, it doesn’t have to be this way if you’re well-grounded in your personal recovery and are working an active program.
On the other hand, if the tools of recovery are embraced and the newcomer has established a firm foundation in sobriety, dating can be an enriching part of the new life-experience that opens up in the absence of alcohol. It’s a hotly debated topic in recovery circles with no clear-cut answer because each person is unique. While one individual may be able to handle the feelings and emotions that come with getting into a relationship, another person may find it to be too much and go down the wrong path.
It is said that the alcoholic or addict stops maturing when he or she starts getting high. It’s perfectly possible to enter recovery as a fifteen-year-old in a thirty-five-year-olds body, and all the awkwardness of being a teenager trying to navigate social situations and dating—seemingly made manageable by drinking—are now the stark new reality of the newcomer. Because in a very real sense lack of maturity is the hallmark of the typical alcoholic, people new to recovery often find it necessary to retrace the missed steps of their youth.
Sober dating is a part of growing up.
If done honestly, openly, and with a willingness to act according to recovery principles, dating in recovery can be fun, interesting, challenging, and occasionally heartbreaking. It can lead to friendships and possibly even long-term relationships.
The key, though, is to behave according to new guidelines; to not act selfishly; and to have someone to talk to if things don’t go as hoped for. If you’ve relapsed as a result of your dating or being in a relationship, we’re here to help. Our addiction treatment center gives each patient the opportunity to communicate openly about the negative consequences of addiction and begin to repair broken relationships.
We are psychotherapists experienced in couples counseling and addiction therapy for men, women, and families. If you’re navigating the early stages of recovery and are unsure about how to approach dating, or have questions about a loved one, contact us for a confidential assessment.
Depression, sadness, anxiety disorders, stress, and worry can make it difficult to find happiness in your life. We all need support at different times in our lives. Most of my clients seek help when their current way of dealing with life’s challenges no longer works for them. With a caring, non-judgmental and solution-focused approach, we will explore your issues and challenges in a safe therapeutic environment at my private practice in Delray Beach, Florida.
I also offer remote online therapy from the comfort and security of home that will allow you to learn more effective ways of managing your anxiety and stress.
Let’s walk the path to freedom from depression and anxiety together. If you’re ready to let go of the sadness, depression, fears, worries, and anxieties that are making life difficult, check out my Anxiety & Depression Support Group hosted the 1st Tuesday of each month at my private practice.